On January 12th of this year, the beloved Adam West-starring Batman TV series celebrated it’s 55th anniversary. That’s five and a half decades of campy, colorful and absolutely FUN entertainment from a three season-long show that, for many, was our first exposure to Batman, as well as the overall DC brand.
Have you already celebrated this anniversary, or if you haven’t just yet, will you? Here’s a few ways you can dance your celebratory Batusi:
If you’re looking to celebrate via DCUI, check out these comics that perfectly capture the aesthetics and tone of the show:
Batman '66: The Digital First series that kicked off a small library’s worth of titles inspired by Adam West and Burt Ward’s adventures.
Batman '66 Meets The Green Hornet: Written by acclaimed filmmaker and comic book writer Kevin Smith, and inspired by Green Hornet and Kato’s appearances in season two of the show. If you haven’t yet seen The Green Hornet TV series that starred Van Williams as the titular hero and Bruce Lee as Kato, do give it a watch when you can, as it was produced and narrated by Batman Executive Producer and narrator William Dozier. While the Batman series was campy and over the top, The Green Hornet was much more down to earth.
Batman '66 Meets the Legion of Super-Heroes: Written by Lee Allred, and drawn by the fantastically talented Mike Allred, this two-issue adventure features Batman and Robin meeting those swingin’ teens of the 30th century, the Legion of Super-Heroes! If you love the Batman TV series, but have never read a Legion book before, this series delivers The Goods on the Legion, and will hopefully make you want to sign up with them for further adventures, as the Legion of Super-Heroes is a fantastic franchise.
Batman '66 Meets The Man From U.N.C.L.E. : One acclaimed TV series from the 1960s meets another, in this tip-top thriller from writer Jeff Parker. Only an agent of THRUSH would turn this one down.
Batman '66 Meets Steed and Mrs. Peel: Batman Meets The Avengers. No, not those Avengers, the Avengers that aired on TV from 1961 until 1969. It starred John Macnee as John Steed and Diana Rigg as Emma Peel. There was also a movie based on the TV show released in 1998, with Ralph Fiennes as Steed, Uma Thurman as Peel and Sir Sean Connery as the aspiring weather-controlling villain of the piece, Sir August de Wynter. When it comes to this movie, it’s as Green Lantern said in Teen Titans Go! to the Movies, “We…we don’t talk about that.”
Batman '66 Meets Wonder Woman '77: The meeting of two all-time TV GREATS! If you’re like most of us who grew up with Adam West’s Batman and/or Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman, this series is a dream come true. While it’s no TV special starring the two on-screen, this book is still an absolute blast. Definitely a highlight in the Batman '66-branded comic oeuvre.
Outside of comic books, you can celebrate this legendary series by:
Watching it on Digital HD, Blu-ray and/or DVD (in all honesty, skip the DVDs and watch it in HD, as the HD re-masters are absolutely stunning).
Catching Batman: The Movie, which, as of this writing, is available for free (with ads) on YouTube. It’s also available on Digital HD, Blu-ray and DVD.
Watching The Adventures of Batman. Filmation Associates produced this animated series in the late '60s, and it was very heavily influenced by Adam West’s show. You can currently see it on Tubi, as well as digital and DVD formats.
Catch the two animated movies that tie into the series, Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, and Batman vs. Two-Face. Featuring the voices of series stars Adam West, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar (with William Shatner as Harvey Dent/Two-Face! ), these movies are fantastic and absolutely worth the time of any Adam West Batman fan.
It’s also worth noting that McFarlane Toys, producer of the highly-acclaimed and best-selling DC Multiverse line of action figures and related products, will be producing Adam West Batman-related action figures and related products later in 2021 under their DC Retro banner.
Here’s a recently-released promotional image for the line that features Batman, The Joker (I hope Romero’s painted over mustache is noticeable ) and Robin, along with a Batmobile. All of this plastic goodness is tucked inside a Batcave playset, which is also slated for release later in the year.
A second series of figures in the line is currently slated to include:
- The Riddler (likely the Frank Gorshin version, but a John Astin variant would be nice, too)
- Surf’s-Up Batman
- Surf’s-Up Joker
So, how will you get your Batusi on for this absolute classic of a TV show? Have you danced the Batusi in a way so as to not attract attention? Hit the beach in your best Batman '66 t-shirt? Climbed up a wall and met a celebrity or two along the way?
Sound off below, same Bat-thread, same Bat-channel!